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Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

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So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Monday, February 23, 2015

George and Martha


George Washington was about to emerge a hero from the French and Indian War when he proposed to Martha Dandridge Custis.

 She was a young, beautiful, recently widowed and very sought after prize in the affluent and powerful Chesapeake society. Chances are good that George and Martha had known each other through mutual friends. They became engaged sometime in early summer 1758 and were married on January 6,1759.

There is always strong speculation that George Washington was passionately in love with Sally Fairfax, the wife of his best friend George William.  It seems, however, that all parties "moved on" and the Washingtons and the Williams remained the closest of friends. 

When George proposed to Martha he was undoubtedly enamored by her independence and diminutive beauty (she was a full 13 inches shorter than he), but there is no doubt that Washington was taking care of his future and marrying someone with more wealth and power than he possessed. 

The marriage ended up to be a wonderful one. Martha had two young children by her previous marriage, and George Washington raised them as if they were his own. He was heartbroken over the loss of 17 year old, Patsy and had tried all attempts to save her from her illness. When his step son, Jack, now a young father himself, died from typhus,Washington raised his children and assumed responsibility for their futures.

Martha proved to be the perfect match for this straight forward, yet ambitious, man. She hated being away from home and hearth, but dutifully traveled to Valley Forge each year during the war campaign to bolster the morale of both the troops and her husband. I think the most telling aspect of their marriage is George's instruction to Martha that she destroy all correspondence between them in the event of his death. Clearly he poured out his heart and soul out to her and, being the very discreet man that he was, did not think that history should intrude on this private love.

During this president's weekend we will see the familiar image of an old George Washington on everything from dollars to car sale signs. Martha has been forever enshrined as the old woman wearing the bonnet. Let's, though, remember them for who they really were; he, a 27 year old handsome soldier just home from the battle front , and she a 27 year old, diminutive Southern Belle, mother of two, who wore purple silk shoes with spangled buttons on her wedding day.

 Love comes suddenly to some and gradually to others; the test is in the time. The Custis-Washingtons were happily married for 40 years.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII

Lovely Anne Boleyn was a woman with a mind of her own from a very early age. Born in 1501 to Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Lady Elizabeth Howard, Anne was educated in the Netherlands and France to be a maid of honor to Claude of France. She was brought home to England in 1522 to marry her cousin, but the marriage plans fell apart and Anne became secretly betrothed the next year to Henry Percy, son of the 5th Earl of Northumberland.

This match was never to be, and Henry Percy was forced to withdraw his betrothal and follow the preexisting marital arrangements made by his family.

Anne was sent home, and was soon the object of Henry VIII's unwanted attention. She had already observed the tragic consequences of her sister's life as Henry's mistress and she refused to follow suit. Henry, not accustomed to being denied his pleasures, became obsessed with winning Anne's hand. He broke faith with the Roman Catholic Church in seeking a divorce from Catherine of Aragon and caused even more controversy by marrying Anne.

Anne bore Henry a daughter, Elizabeth, but this birth was followed by three miscarriages. Not getting the son he yearned for, Henry's affections wandered toward Jane Seymour, and Anne Boleyn found herself in grave danger. Wanting to, again, free himself of a wife, Henry had Anne investigated and arrested for high treason. Harsh measures of persuasion forced accusations from those most close to her, and Anne was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Four days after her trial, at the age of 35, Anne Boleyn was executed. She climbed the scaffold and gracefully addressed the crowd who had gathered to watch the beheading. She begged her listeners to forgive her if she had not "used them all with becoming gentleness" and asked for prayers for herself and for the King. She also asked God to be compassionate to those who had condemned her. The crowd wept as the executioner swiftly used his sword.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jon Stewart and Tracey McShane

Jon Stewart and Tracey McShane


In order to maintain a balanced point of view in today's volatile political climate, I relied on two major news sources; the thoughtful :) conservative pieces presented by Steven Colbert, and the more comfortable (to me) liberal point of view presented by Jon Stewart in The Daily Show.

Despite the fact that Jon Stewart readily recognizes his show is meant to be satire and comedy, The Daily Show has received 16 Emmy awards, and has been nominated for various news and journalism awards.  His intelligence and wit, along with his passion for truth results in "fake news" which often is presented with more authenticity than the "news" found on major networks.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha

After watching Kerry Washington's interview with Jon Stewart, I became a big fan.

I was very impressed with this actress' poise,style, sense of humor, and sense of self.

Kerry Washington does not seem to be filled with the self importance which often accompanies her level of success, and she has a delightful perspective concerning the intensity of her character, Olivia Pope and her hit show Scandal.

Washington grew up in a middle class family in Brooklyn, NY. Her dad was a realtor and her mom an educator. Kerry earned a BA from George Washington University and went on to establish an acting career on stage and in film.